We hiked the Rim Trail to Maricopa Point stopping many places along the way. There were lots of good places to get right on the rim. We saw a rock wren, a black-throated warbler and a new bird for the day, the Scrub Jay
. At Maricopa Point we could start to see more of the canyon toward the west. We spent a bit of time there too. Next was Powell Point where we had lunch. It was really windy and chilly all day, especially at the points. Larry, Derek, and I sat on a bench to have our lunch, but Erin sat out on the point. We noticed that today there were a lot less people around as the Holiday Weekend is over. There were even fewer people hiking the Rim Trail. Most were riding the free shuttle bus from Point to Point.
Hopi Point was a spectacular view east and west in the canyon. We spent a lot of time just letting the beauty sink in. After a while the Grand Canyon is mesmerizing. I just can't get enough of it. We took pictures knowing they could never do the landscape justice. I took pictures of the flowers along the trail today. Mojave Point was the next place we spent some time. It was here that there were a couple of men who were watching a Condor nest. They pointed out the little cave in the red wall far away from where we were. We could see it with our binoculars but there was no action. They said a Condor was in there on a nest. They could see more as they had a spotting scope trained on the nest. We hiked to The Abyss, aptly named as it was a very deep and open bowl-shaped area without any buttes.
It had taken us 4 hours to hike the 3.4 miles to The Abyss and that wasn't even half way to the end of the Rim Trail
. So we decided to take the bus to the next stop which was Monument Creek Vista. We got off but there wasn't much to see there. So we hopped on the next bus and rode to Pima Point which had a great view. We stayed there quite a while and it started to sprinkle a little. Then we took the bus to the end of the road at Hermit's Rest. There were restrooms, a snack bar, and gift shop where Derek bought a picture. In the gift shop was the largest fireplace I had ever seen. It was sprinkling a little harder at Hermit's Rest. We had been watching the North Rim all day because it looked like it was raining over there. But most likely it was just sprinkling because the rain mostly evaporates before it hits the ground because it is so dry. We got on the next bus back to the beginning and rode back weary. We made the transfer to the Village bus system a rode to the first stop which wasn't far from our car.
On the ride back to the house we saw several elk by the side of the road. We stopped at the General Store in Tusayan to get milk, OJ, meat, cheese, bread, and cough drops for Derek - $30! Derek isn't feeling well tonight and went to bed shortly after supper. When we got back to the house I fixed Chowderwitches. These are an open-faced sandwich with fish fillets, covered with clam chowder and corn with cheddar cheese on top. After supper we planned our trip to Sedona tomorrow. Larry, Erin and I watched the sunset. Then I did the blog and went to bed.
We didn't get up until about 8:00 so we left after 9:00. We drove into the park and parked at the same parking lot we did on Sunday to hike the Bright Angel Trail. We walked to the bus stop and took the bus to the first stop on the west end route. We got off at the Trailview Overlook and were soon seeing most of the Bright Angel Trail from above, at least the parts that we had hiked. We could see most of the switchbacks, both of the tunnels, and all the places where the color changed from red to white and back to red. It was impossible to get the whole trail in one picture, so I did a video which I will not put in this blog because the connection speed for the internet is really slow here.